Category: Design

Unwieldy LEGO Sculptures Reveal a Multitude of Hidden Shadow Designs 

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GIF via Sploid

Artist John V. Muntean (previously) constructs bulky objects that spin on a single axis that when paired with a light source reveal a multitude of projected shadow images. Two of his latest creations were built with tens of thousands of LEGOs, each with three separate images contained within a single sculpture. Watch the videos below to see how the work. (via Sploid)

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A Museum Dedicated to Miniature Architectural Models Opens in Tokyo 

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Earlier this summer, Archi-Depot opened within Tokyo’s Shinagawa district, a warehouse museum dedicated to the storage and display of Japanese architectural models. Created by the company Warehouse TERRADA (previously), the cavernous space houses rows and rows of dramatically-lit miniature designs, many of which serve as the tiny precursors to some of the city’s top attractions such as the Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo International Airport, and the Asakusa Culture and Tourism Center.

Each of the models stacked within the museum’s 17-foot-tall interior contain a QR code, a feature that provides quick access to further information about the architectural works. Digital details include blueprints, photographs of the finalized building or structure, and examples of other projects the head architect has completed during their career. One architect in particular, Kengo Kuma, has been selected to design the 2020 World Olympics stadium. Although this project is still within its planning stages, a few of his completed projects’ models are stored within the museum. These works include the China Academy of Arts’ Folk Art Museum and the Asakusa cultural center mentioned above. Other architects included in the museum’s collection are Jun Aoki, Shigeru Ban, Wonderwall, Torafu, and many more as the collection is continuously expanding.

In addition to this growing permanent display, Archi-Depot also hosts rotating exhibitions of newer models or more conceptual pieces in its exhibition area. Currently the museum has an exhibition of works by Japanese architecture firm Wonderwall that will be on display through the end of the year. Last month we had a chance to visit the museum, and were blown away by the immense detail put into each of the tiny pieces, especially considering they are often stored away from the public eye. You can have a chance to browse the collection by either visiting the museum Tuesday through Sunday from 11 AM to 9 PM, or visit digitally on their website and Instagram.

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New Cut Stone Tables Encased in Resin Mimic an Ocean Reef 

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Furniture designer Alexandre Chapelin (previously) wows us again with this new pair of tables that mimic a cross-section of an underwater reef. The Saint Martin-based artist uses natural stone encased in a translucent blue resin to “bring the ocean into your living room.” You can see more views of the new tables on Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)

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New Olympic Athletes Crafted from Layered Paper by Raya Sader Bujana 

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Barcelona-based artist and set designer Raya Sader Bujana (previously) continues to explore sports through paper in her ongoing series of paper athlete sculptures that celebrate a wide range of popular sports. In timing with the Summer Olympic Games in Rio, Bujana created a number of new paper sculptures that she photographed and released as 12 limited edition Giclee prints in her online shop. You can see much more of her editorial work on Instagram.

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A Bird’s Nest Tearoom Perched Atop a 300-Year-Old Camphor Tree in Japan 

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All photos by Koji Fujii for Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP

Architect Hiroshi Nakamura had always been intrigued by how some crows utilize found coat hangers as a structural element in their nests. With this idea in mind, a unique opportunity presented itself when treehouse builder Takashi Kobayashi contacted him with an unusual site for a tearoom: 10 meters above the ground in a 300-year-old cinnamomum camphora tree growing precariously on the side of a mountain that overlooks the ocean in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Using the coat hangers as a starting point he designed the Bird’s Nest Atami Tearoom using a variety of minimally invasive construction techniques meant to protect the integrity of the tree.

“Hangers are not only durable but also highly elastic, and they offer more hooks to connect than branches and hence are easier to assemble,” he shares. “Crows, flying deftly across the dichotomy of natural and artificial, are creating a functional and comfortable environment.” Thus the tearoom became a lightweight scaffold-type structure that works in harmony with the trees branches instead of being directly anchored to it. From Nakamura’s notes on the project:

For the foundation, we carefully inserted pier type foundations between the roots in order to avoid the use of concrete and large-scale excavation. Using the structure itself as scaffolding, we assembled it by avoiding the branches as birds create their nest, adding or taking out components based on structural analysis. We mortared the room interior to be like a swallow’s nest. The design leaves open the possibility for visitors to experience nest building by picking up branches from the mountain side and fitting them into walls inside.

The tearoom is part of the KAI Atami resort, and you can see more views both inside and out on the Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP website. Please take me with you. (via ARCHatlas)

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Functional Mixtape Coffee Tables 

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Catering to musicians and music lovers alike, Los Angeles-based company TAYBLES has created a functional piece of furniture that also acts as a nostalgic throwback to the time of homemade mixtapes. The trio of artists behind the company produces cassette tape coffee tables, each work crafted from hardwood and sealed with clear epoxy. Every table also comes with a classic cassette label affixed to the top, and LED lights hidden within the center of the mixtape’s holes. You can buy your own custom mixtape on the company’s Etsy shop 214Graffiti, and browse more designs on their website. (via So Super Awesome)

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